The plastic industry is using the coronavirus to fight plastic bag bans

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Bag bans that were supposed to go into effect have been halted in several states as the plastic industry plays up fears of infection from reusable bags (but doesn’t mention anything about infection from plastic ones). As the groundswell against single-use plastic has grown, a recent study about the new coronavirus could lend more ammunition: The virus, SARS-CoV-2, can live on plastic for two to three days , versus 24 hours on cardboard. (Another study that looked at related viruses, SARS and MERS, found that some lived on plastic as long as nine days.) But the plastic industry is also using the coronavirus crisis for the opposite reason, to argue that public health requires us to overturn bans on single-use plastic bags at stores. Read Full Story

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Lego is replacing its clear plastic bags with recyclable paper

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The company wants its packaging to be sustainable by 2025, so the crinkly bags have got to go. If you buy a Lego set today, the toy bricks come packed in tiny numbered plastic bags. Every year, the toy manufacturer uses hundreds of millions of those bags. But the company is starting to phase out single-use plastic, with the goal of making its packaging sustainable by 2025—and those bags are a big part of it. Next year, it will begin rolling out an alternative, with bricks packed in Forest Stewardship Council-certified paper instead. Read Full Story

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Walmart, Target, and CVS team up to reinvent single-use plastic bags

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First they came for plastic cups. Now they’re coming for plastic bags. In 2018, McDonald’s and Starbucks teamed up to create an eco-friendly alternative to the single-use soft drink cup. Coordinated by the investment firm Closed Loop Partners with support from the design studio Ideo, it was an unprecedented, joint effort between rivals to fix the ecological impact at the core of their business. Several of the resulting winners were piloted in stores earlier this year . Read Full Story

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This reusable ‘Origami Bottle’ folds to fit in your pocket

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Foldable, reusable packaging could accelerate the switch away from single-use plastics. If you push down on certain points on the new reusable water bottle called the Origami Bottle , the container collapses, folding up so it can easily fit in your bag or even squeeze inside your pocket. The design makes use of a unique geometrical structure that’s sturdy when unfolded—and holds 25 ounces of water—but quickly transforms when empty, with the aim of helping reusable packaging compete with single-use plastic. Read Full Story

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Who wins if TikTok gets banned? These alternatives exploded in India

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After India banned TikTok along with 58 other apps late last month, first-time installs of alternative video apps grew by a collective 155% in the country. As American officials continue to weigh a ban on TikTok and other Chinese apps, new data from a country that has already taken such a broad-based action offers clues as to which services might benefit from a TikTok-free world. Read Full Story

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This app lets New Yorkers buy restaurants’ extra food at a big discount

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Too Good to Go helps route food that restaurants can’t use to people’s tables—not the trash. When the New York City-based grocery store Brooklyn Fare has fresh bread and pastries left at the end of the day, it now offers them to customers through a new app instead of discarding them. The store, along with around 200 restaurants, is using an app called Too Good to Go, which launched first in Copenhagen. Read Full Story

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Seventh Generation’s new line gets rid of all its plastic packaging

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Get ready to clean differently: For its new zero-plastic line, the natural cleaning supply company has also reinvented its products as powders instead of liquids. Seventh Generation, the cleaning product company known for its natural products, has spent years tweaking its packaging to improve sustainability, including a massive push to use more post-consumer recycled plastic. But the company is now using a different tactic, and beginning to move away from plastic completely, starting with a new line called Zero Plastic Homecare. Read Full Story

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